The C-MAX Hybrid offers optional Reverse Sensing System to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, optionally, in front of the vehicle. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer a front parking aid.
Both the C-MAX Hybrid and the Sonata Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available collision warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.
There are almost 5 times as many Ford dealers as there are Hyundai dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the C-MAX Hybrid’s warranty.
The C-MAX Hybrid has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
For better traction, the C-MAX Hybrid has larger tires than the Sonata Hybrid (225/50R17 vs. 205/65R16). The C-MAX Hybrid’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Sonata Hybrid (225/50R17 vs. 215/55R17).
The C-MAX Hybrid’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Sonata Hybrid SE’s standard 65 series tires. The C-MAX Hybrid’s tires are lower profile than the Sonata Hybrid Limited’s 55 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the C-MAX Hybrid has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Sonata Hybrid SE.
The C-MAX Hybrid’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
The C-MAX Hybrid is 1 foot, 5.5 inches shorter than the Sonata Hybrid, making the C-MAX Hybrid easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the C-MAX Hybrid is rated a Large car by the EPA, while the Sonata Hybrid is rated a Mid-size.
The C-MAX Hybrid has .6 inches more front headroom, 1.4 inches more rear headroom and .9 inches more rear legroom than the Sonata Hybrid.
The C-MAX Hybrid with its rear seat up has a much larger cargo area than the Sonata Hybrid (24.5 vs. 13.3 cubic feet).
To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the C-MAX Hybrid’s hatch uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the cargo area. The Sonata Hybrid’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.
To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults or children, the C-MAX Hybrid offers an optional power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button or, optionally on the C-MAX Hybrid Titanium, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer a power trunk.
The C-MAX Hybrid Titanium has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
The C-MAX Hybrid’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Sonata Hybrid’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. With the Sonata Hybrid Limited’s power windows, only the front windows open or close automatically.
On a hot day the C-MAX Hybrid’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Sonata Hybrid can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the C-MAX Hybrid’s available exterior PIN entry system. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its Blue Link can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.
The C-MAX Hybrid Titanium’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Sonata Hybrid’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.
To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the C-MAX Hybrid has a standard rear wiper. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer a rear wiper.
The C-MAX Hybrid has a 115-volt a/c outlet, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
The C-MAX Hybrid Titanium’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Ford C-MAX Hybrid, based on reliability, safety and performance.